Eliash Strongowski is a designer based in Zhytomyr, Ukraine. Strongowski's book covers exhibit an incredible ability in the art of collage. We contacted the artist about use of this technique, and how it was applied to the Ukrainian version of Fates and Furies.
Elements of nature feature heavily in your work, including your gorgeous collages. Could you tell us more about them?
I started doing collages as a parallel to my self-motivating project "30 covers for 30 days." The challenge was to make collage covers to classics, spending no more than 2 hours on each. Some ideas did not fit to books, so I began to create abstractions, tons of them. One of such collages became a tattoo, some from the rest were used as covers for poetry books.
Fates And Furies was a big hit in 2015 and the covers designed for it have become quasi-iconic. How did you go about coming up with something fresh for the Ukranian market?
When I read Fates And Furies I understood that the idea behind it was very controversial. We see the life of two people from absolutely different angles, but the mix of these two views is a real truth about their relations. Brights and darks complete a full picture. This is similar to my collages, when I combine opposite things and opposite meanings. This was noticed by Nash Format's art director, Kateryna Avramchuk. At first, she asked just to put some text on an existing image. She chose one from the series of collages called Volumen, where I started to use 3D effects.
The series mixes alive and used-to-be-alive objects - skulls and flowers - bright and dark sides. All original covers for Lauren Groff's book were wavy, layered, bold text on them partly hidden and intersected, in shades of cyan. So Insulo, one from the series, with spiral cut skull fit perfectly. I just changed the background in favor of a blue-green.
Unexpectedly for me, the cover created a stir in the market, and I recieved some warm words from the author herself.